How to Fix Windows 7 Bricking Issue (0xC004F200, Non-Genuine) That Microsoft Says Wasn’t Caused by Latest Cumulative Updates

microsoft upgrade Windows 7 activation error windows 10 windows 7
End of an era, but 1 in 4 computers are still running Windows 7

Windows 10 isn't the only Windows version experiencing issues after receiving cumulative updates. Latest January security patch has also brought troubles for those on Windows 7. The update has reportedly resulted in several issues, including file share and connection issues. It is also giving some users 0xc004f200 "not genuine" error. However, Microsoft says that at least this Windows 7 activation bug isn't caused by the latest update.

If you are also seeing this Windows 7 activation error after installing the latest updates (January patch KB4480970), Microsoft has acknowledged the problem and offered a workaround. The company writes:

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Some users are reporting activation failures and "Not genuine" notifications starting around January 8, 2019, or later, on volume-licensed Windows 7 KMS clients. Notifications may state:

  • "Windows is not genuine."
  • “Your computer might be running a counterfeit copy of Windows.”
  • On screen errors and logged events reference “xC004F200 (non-genuine).”

Microsoft assures that this is NOT a problem associated with the latest security patch and the "timing of this issue" just coincides with the release of the January updates (KB4480960 and KB4480970) that were released earlier this week.

"A recent update to the Microsoft Activation and Validation unintentionally caused a "not genuine" error on volume-licensed Windows 7 clients that had KB 971033 installed," Microsoft says. "The change was introduced at 10:00:00 UTC on January 8, 2019, and was reverted at 4:30:00 UTC on January 9, 2019."

How to fix Windows 7 activation bug xC004F200 (non-genuine)

Microsoft says that Windows 7 devices that have installed KB971033 but did not experience this activation issue between 10:00 UTC, January 8 and 4:30 UTC, January 9 should not experience the issue in the future. But if you do experience this problem and have KB971033 installed, you can follow any of these steps to uninstall the update.

  1. In the Installed Updates item in Control Panel (Control Panel Windows Update > View update history > Installed Updates), right-click Update for Microsoft Windows (KB971033), and then select Uninstall.
  2. Run the following command in a Command Prompt window as administrator:
    • wusa /uninstall /kb:971033
  3. Run the following command in a Command Prompt window as administrator:
    • dism /online /Remove-Package /PackageName:Microsoft-Windows-Security-WindowsActivationTechnologies-Package~31bf3856ad364e35~amd64~~7.1.7600.16395

After you have uninstalled KB 971033, rebuild the activation-related files and then reactivate the system by running the following commands in a Command Prompt window as admin (for specific details, head over to this official post):

  • net stop sppuinotify
  • sc config sppuinotify start= disabled
  • net stop sppsvc
  • del %windir%\system32\7B296FB0-376B-497e-B012-9C450E1B7327-5P-0.C7483456-A289-439d-8115-601632D005A0 /ah
  • del %windir%\system32\7B296FB0-376B-497e-B012-9C450E1B7327-5P-1.C7483456-A289-439d-8115-601632D005A0 /ah
  • del %windir%\ServiceProfiles\NetworkService\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\SoftwareProtectionPlatform\tokens.dat
  • del %windir%\ServiceProfiles\NetworkService\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\SoftwareProtectionPlatform\cache\cache.dat
  • net start sppsvc
  • cscript c:\windows\system32\slmgr.vbs /ipk <edition-specific KMS client key>
  • cscript c:\windows\system32\slmgr.vbs /ato
  • sc config sppuinotify start= demand

Along with the activation error that Microsoft says isn't related to the latest January update, the company has acknowledged two more issues with Windows 7 that do seem to have resulted from the latest patch. These include:

  1. Local users who are part of the local “Administrators“ group may not be able to remotely access shares on Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7 machines after installing the January 8th, 2019 security updates. This does not affect domain accounts in the local "Administrators" group.
  2. After you apply this update, the network interface controller may stop working on some client software configurations. This occurs because of an issue related to a missing file, oem<number>.inf. The exact problematic configurations are currently unknown.

To resolve these Windows 7 issues, Microsoft has offered the following workarounds:

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Fix for the first issue:

  1. To locate the network device, launch devmgmt.msc. It may appear under Other Devices.
  2. To automatically rediscover the NIC and install drivers, select Scan for Hardware Changes from the Action menu.
    • Alternatively, install the drivers for the network device by right-clicking the device and choosing Update. Then choose Search automatically for updated driver software or Browse my computer for driver software.

Workaround to fix the second issue (network interface controller)

To work around this issue use either a local account that is not part of the local “Administrators” group or any domain user (including domain administrators).

The company says it recommends these workarounds until a fix is made available in a future release. For more details, head over to the official post that explains both what fixes the latest update has brought and the associated known issues.

- Relevant: After Multiple Disasters, Microsoft Has Finally Decided to Use Its Insiders to Test Cumulative Updates

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